Webcam utilities come in several flavors. Some emphasize the security angle by monitoring several cameras at once, much like a CCTV system. Others have a different objective: fun. ArcSoft's WebCam Companion 4 definitely falls into the second group. This shareware Webcam manager not only handles your Webcams but also edits and adds cool stuff to your video feeds, such as masks and text. It can capture 3D and HD video and still images, and it makes it easy to share everything on Facebook, Twitter, and other Web sites. But that doesn't mean WebCam Companion doesn't also make … Read more
As the old adage goes, seeing is believing, which is why we've seen such an abundance of screen-capture tools. But what if you want to capture video instead of a static picture? That's where Webcam Video Capture comes in. As its name suggests, it offers users a means to capture video and save it to their computer. Sadly, however, in practice, we found it clunky to use and glitchy to the point that it crashed on us, requiring reinstallation.
Webcam Video Capture's user interface is small and seemingly straightforward at first glance. Buttons labeled New Session, Record, … Read more
DxO Labs and Phase One updated their image-editing programs this week, aiming to improve image quality and editing controls in an attempt to fend off market heavyweights Adobe Systems and Apple.
DxO Optics Pro 8 and Phase One Capture One Pro 7, like Adobe's Lightroom and Apple's Aperture, are designed in particular to handle raw photos from higher-end cameras, photos taken directly from the image sensor for higher quality, greater flexibility, but more hassle.
Among DxO Optics Pro's new features announced during the PhotoPlus Expo show in New York:
A "Smart Lighting" control designed to … Read more
If you are a tech blogger or engage in another pursuit that requires the regular capturing and sharing of screenshots, Puush (Mac | Windows) could prove useful. It's a free and easy multiplatform app that automatically uploads screenshots as you snap them. It works on both Macs and Windows systems, and there is also a Puush iPhone app. I tried out the free Mac app and iPhone app.
When you launch Puush on a Mac, you'll see a small arrow icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen. Click on the arrow icon and choose Preferences … Read more
As a tech blogger, I take a lot of screenshots, and I use Dropbox to make these screenshots accessible from any of my computers. Typically, the process involves me taking a screenshot and then manually uploading it to Dropbox. With GrabBox, however, I am able to automate the process.
GrabBox is a free Mac app. After installing it, it places an icon in your Mac's menu bar and opens an Initial Setup window. The setup involves one, simple action. It asks you to right-click on a file in your Dropbox Public folder, and it provides a button that will … Read more
Many people would probably say their handwriting has suffered the more they use computers to communicate. But imagine trying to exercise your rusty penmanship on letters that have not 1 or 2 strokes but 5, 10, 15, or more.
The Japanese often complain that sending e-mails and texts erodes their skills in writing the thousands of kanji, or Chinese characters, they learn in school. Some are maddeningly complex and, if rarely used, easy to forget.
But brush-painting kanji calligraphy is also a centuries-old art form. Keio University engineering professor Seiichiro Katsura has a way to help preserve it with his Motion Copy System robot. … Read more
2K Sports' critically acclaimed NBA 2K franchise is no stranger to best sports video game lists. The CNET TV team recently went behind the scenes at 2K Sports' headquarters in Novato, Calif., just days before NBA 2K13 hits store shelves. The goal: to find out what's in their secret sauce.
I had the opportunity to jump into the company's motion capture studio, and suited up with markers placed strategically on my body. Lights surrounding the perimeter of the studio hit the markers, and the reflections allow them to be identified and processed by computers to capture wireframe animations … Read more
Anyone who needs lightweight screen-capturing and editing software will love Skitch for Mac. Although it lacks some of the tools -- such as mask and layer -- that you find in a high-end image editor such as Photoshop, its well-designed, intuitive interface guides you all the way through the quick and effective editing actions, and the result speaks for itself.
The app launches in a gray window with a white canvas in the center, while the outer borders contain all the available options, allowing you to perform a long list of actions. But since Skitch is centered around screenshots, you … Read more
Calling TechSmith's SnagIt a screen capture tool is a bit like calling a Swiss Army Knife a knife. Yes, it's first and foremost a screen capture tool, and a very good one at that. But SnagIt offers a lot more than free gadgets that also capture screen images. In fact, it's much more of a graphics toolkit optimized for capturing and using onscreen images and information than a screen grabber. SnagIt is advanced enough to enhance productivity for business users and other professionals, but it's also easy for home users to start right up with. If … Read more
HyperCam 2 is a free software program that gives you a way to capture your screen in AVI video, showing cursor movement and every task accomplished on your desktop.
The interface is a little advanced for a novice computer user. Its overall look is a little crowded and therefore not as easy to navigate as we would hope. Its basic functions are at least easy to use, though it produced video of variable quality. We tested how it would function with a YouTube video capture and Select Window resulted in a delayed and out-of-sync recording. Select Region had good quality, … Read more